Thursday, February 08, 2007

If only I could photograph like Murakami

I sometimes think that if only I could photograph like Haruki Murakami writes I would be lauded as a photographer worldwide with everyone clamouring for my work....

Murakami is one of my favourite writers. I love the way he can bring so many incongruities together in an apparently natural way. There is an ordinary everydayness to his writing, combined with something strange and magical along with the odd bit of thriller noir thrown in.

With Murakami you have novels in which someone's lost cat leads - via a teenage wig surveyor - to the atrocities of the sino-japanese war. Or another in which one of the main characters is (entirely plausibly) a sheep/man, discovered through the floor of a hotel that doesn't exist. Or a man with an implant in his bran seeking to reunite with his lost shadow and memories (as well as with a chubby young woman who only wears pink). Someone said he's a metaphysical novelist with a warm, down-to-earth voice and a knack for creating credible characters and spinning a lively yarn (and if I could read my old journal notes, I'd tell you who...).

My favourite books would have to be the last mentioned above - Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World, and his latest novel Kafka on the Shore which features the 15-year-old Kafka Tamura who has run away from home, an elderly simpleton who can speak with cats, a spirit appearing as Johnny Walker along with "fish raining from the sky; a forest-dwelling pair of Imperial Army soldiers who haven't aged since WWII; and a hilarious cameo by fried chicken king Colonel Sanders—but Murakami also writes touchingly about love, loneliness and friendship". But almost any of his books is a good choice (though I don't get on with his short stories).

In a place where time isn't important neither is memory...

"Are memories such an important thing?". It depends, she replied, "in some cases they're the most important thing there is." "Yet you burned yours up" - "I had no need for them anymore"...
Kafka on the Shore


After thirty minutes of guitar practice who should show up but the Sheep Man. "IfIbotheryouI'llleave" said the Sheep Man through the front door. "No not at all. I was getting kind of board anyway" I said, setting the guitar on the floor... A Wild Sheep Chase

(Photos from Tokyo Polaroid Plus - whose photographs are the closest I have come across - well worth looking through)

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